Police are looking for the people responsible for smashing the stained glass sculpture of legendary musician Tom “Pops” Carter at Denton’s Quakertown Park.
It appears as though vandals used a rock or hard object to shatter the glass on the seven-foot-tall work of art. The city removed the shattered glass that was secured in the metal frame Thursday morning.
Artist Christie Wood noticed the damage earlier this week and reported it to police. She spent months creating the rendition of the local Denton blues legend.
“I proposed that we do it in stain glass so it would be transparent to honor the way he was always open and transparent,” she said.
Carter was so beloved in Denton that the city commissioned Wood’s work of art featuring him for $29,000.
“Pops was Denton's greatest blues musician,” Woods said. “He sang. He mentored musicians here in town."
Shane Kizer, a spokesperson for the Denton Police Department says some nearby lights were also destroyed likely around the same time.
“Obviously, it's been vandalism,” he said. “You can see here and here significant breaks. It was hit with something with pretty hard impact."
Kizer says the department is reviewing nearby cameras in hopes of spotting the culprit who could face a felony criminal mischief charge. It's not clear if the vandal was motivated by race.
One Denton County commissioner has said she would put a discussion about the Confederate monument in the town square on the agenda soon.
Despite being made of glass, Wood said she designed her sculpture to withstand the elements and potential vandalism. It was encased between two well-tested pieces of bullet-proof safety glass.
The sculpture was dedicated at the 2014 Denton Blues Festival in memory of Carter. He played with other well-known blues musicians such as B.B. King, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Freddy King and Little Milton.
Carter moved to Denton in the 1980s and formed the band Pops Carter and the Funkmonsters. He was one of the big draws for annual Denton Blues Festival before he died at the age of 92 in 2012.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Denton Police Department.